Occupation: CEO & Chief Conversation Starter, Guinnen MacRath
First Car: 1978 Honda Civic
Favorite Restaurant: I love the pancakes at our little local diner, The Rock Cafe here in Glen Rock, NJ.
What are three things most people don't know about you?
a). I used to make clothes for my wife. I once made her a fabulous little black dress. Then the cleaners ruined it.
b). I’m actually an Italian trapped in the body of a Norwegian.
c). I never wanted to be a kid. Seemed like a waste of time to me. I always wanted to be a grown-up. When my classmates were struggling through adolescence, I was going through my first mid-life crisis!
What's been your greatest adventure in life?
Twenty years ago, desperate to make sense of the dysfunctional behavior I saw in so many IT departments, I began to look seriously at psychology as it applies to the workplace. My fascination with the human dynamics of teams continues to this day. My commitment today is to create the powerful conversations that transform businesses and the lives of the people who work in them.
What's your best childhood memory?
When I was little, Mom used to read stories to us every night. This was a special time of day for me. When my own daughter was born, Mom recorded hundreds of stories on tape, and my daughter used to listen to them at bedtime just as I had, thirty years before.
If you could have a conversation with a person of your choice, past, present or future, who would that person be and why?
I’d like to meet all four of my grandparents. Especially my father’s father, who sounds like he was a ball of fire and a barrel of laughs.
What's the hardest thing you've ever done in your life?
It’s always the same thing - taking on something I’ve never done before that will require me to be someone I’ve never been before. Every big step in my life has seemed much harder before the fact than it actually turned out to be.
Tell us about your favorite hobby.
I’m a big fan of face reading. It’s the study of how personality traits are reflected in people’s facial features. People are often amazed by how accurately their faces reveal what they’re like.
What are you currently reading? What is your favorite book?
My favorite book as a kid was “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster. I still love it.
Right now I’m reading several books at once, as usual. One is “The Rise of the Creative Class,” by Richard Florida.
Is there a particular place or thing you want to see?
I did a project in India a few years ago, and I want to go back. I loved it there!
If you could give $10,000 to a charity, what would that charity be and why?
I would donate it to Peoplemaking of Colorado. This group does remarkable work teaching men, women, and children how to become more fully human.
If you weren't on the professional services career track, what would you be doing?
At heart, I’m an evangelist of big ideas. I’d be doing something involved in international development.
What is the path that led you to Professional Services/Consulting?
It started with a degree in music. Then a few years in the construction trades. Then a night job as an operator in a data center. That’s when I discovered a knack for explaining technology to others. Which led me into product development and then sales. I discovered that most of the products we sold became shelfware. I didn’t like that, so I started helping customers implement the tools. Next thing I knew I was running a professional services team.
What advice would you give to a recent graduate who just took a job in professional services?
Ask your boss to send you to our Consulting Skills training program. You won’t regret it.